MELBOURNE, Aug 27 AAP Geelong have shrugged off injury scares to tune up for AFL finals football in ruthless fashion, destroying Melbourne by 111 points in Paul Roos’ last game as Demons coach.
Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood powered the Cats and Tom Hawkins was irrepressible as Geelong ensured a top-two finish after a first-quarter onslaught at Simonds Stadium.
Eight first-quarter goals, 10 in the final term and relentless intensity all Saturday afternoon set up a monster 24.11 (155) to 6.8 (44) win.
Hawkins was the chief beneficiary of Geelong’s midfield dominance, with four goals by quarter-time and six at fulltime – his biggest haul in two seasons.
Sam Menegola (27 disposals and three goals), Daniel Menzel (four goals) and James Bartel (three goals) also cashed in as the Cats blew out the margin.
Dangerfield, with 32 disposals and a record-tying 16 inside 50s, and Selwood (36 disposals) were Melbourne’s main destroyers, but both wore heavy first-half hits.
Dangerfield lay on the turf holding his shoulder after a dumping tackle from Sam Frost, while Selwood went off holding his neck from a midfield pack.
The pair played out the match but Jake Kolodjashnij wasn’t so lucky, limping off in the third term with a calf complaint.
Any fitness concerns will lessen with a week off after Geelong took their pre-finals form to a new level.
Geelong will enter September with seven straight wins, with their latest success locking in a qualifying final at the MCG in the first week of the playoffs.
Their opponents will be arch-rivals Hawthorn if Alastair Clarkson’s side defeat Collingwood on Sunday.
Scott said Adelaide’s loss to West Coast on Friday night, which freed up a place in the top two, was a motivating factor.
“The result last night opened it up for us,” he said.
“The whole footy world was aware of it but we had to do our part.
“We played good footy (but) it’s hard to assess the motivation levels of the opposition given they didn’t have much to play for and we had a lot to play for.”
For Melbourne, this was a most woeful end to Roos’ tenure.
The Demons had no answer to Geelong’s pressure and couldn’t find a winner inside 50, slumping to their heaviest loss in the three years of Roos’ reign – and of Roos’ coaching career.
“It’s disappointing for the players after such a good season,” he said.
“The cracks opened up and it turned into the grand canyon.
“I’d rather go out differently … but it’s not going to make any difference round one next year.”